Compassion is defined in Webster's dictionary as, "sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it." Compassion has long been an essential quality in nursing. It is the ability to see beyond the patient's diagnosis and prognosis and having empathy and care for what the patient and his/her family is experiencing. Its presence and effect on our patient care contribute to nurses being one of the most trusted professions.
Sandie made a special connection with one of our patients. I would like to use him as an example to show how Sandie demonstrates compassionate care. This patient was enrolled in cardiac rehab in March. One day in April he came in for this session with stitches over his left eye stating that he had fallen at home. He also complained of left rib pain. Sandie assessed the sites and requested the notes from the ED to read about the extent of his injuries. She made sure he understood the care of his wound sites as outlined in his instructions and ensured he had his PCP follow up appointment scheduled. This was the beginning of the special connection she made with this patient.
As the weeks went on in cardiac rehab, he opened more and more to Sandie about his home life and living conditions. He shared with her that his power had been shut off and he was "out of food" due to monetary issues. Sandie contacted Elderly Protective Services with the patient's permission to have his case evaluated for assistance. She worked with the state social worker and helped this patient complete the paperwork and apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In turn, a town social worker was assigned to his case and he received Meals on Wheels for a short time and when deemed ineligible for that he was able to utilize the town's food pantry for nourishment resources. Sandie also worked with his doctors and the electric company to have his electricity turned back on as we were facing a predicted heat wave that week. Through these ordeals, Sandie discovered the patient didn't completely understand exactly how his cell phone worked. She helped him with this as well.
Unfortunately, he suffered a second fall. This time he was in a parking lot and tripped over a curb. He did not go for a medical evaluation of his injury. When he presented to his cardiac rehab session, Sandie took one look at his swollen bruised right knee and got a wheelchair and wheeled him downstairs to the walk-in orthopedic clinic. She ensured he was seen. She made sure he understood his rest/recovery time frame and communicated the care limitations and restrictions from the orthopedic doctor for future exercise sessions when he was able to return.
The patient fell again this past weekend. He was helping a friend with yard work. She ensured that she got the ED report and promptly contacted the social worker. Sandie communicated her concerns about his safety and urged her to schedule another visit to his home to re-evaluate his case for further assistance and intervention. Sandie goes well above and beyond helping this patient understand his heart condition and the benefits of cardiac rehab. She continues to stay actively involved advocating for his health, personal safety, and his best interests as he is still participating in our program.
This is just one example of how she demonstrates excellent nursing care. We have seen her take the lead on numerous patient situations in order to resolve issues regarding their care. We think what stands out most is her demeanor, approachability, genuine kindness, and caring attitudes towards all patients. She brings to life every day the values our organization upholds for excellent patient care. We are proud to work with her and witness her compassionate care every day.